Florence Pugh had a blast with her latest role.
In an interview with ET Canada, the Oscar-nominated actress spoke about starring in the new film “A Good Person”, written and directed by her ex, Zach Braff.
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Asked if it was intimidating playing a role that Braff said was written with her in mind, Pugh said, “It would seem like it should be, but it really wasn’t.”
She explained, “I think what happens when someone who knows you so well and knows your body of work so well writes you something, is you kind of cut about seven corners.”
In fact, Pugh shared how she was actually a part of building the character of Alison, a young woman whose happy life crumbles when she survives a tragedy and then develops an opioid addiction in treatment.
“We don’t have to create that dialog between each other. I don’t have to spend ages figuring out who Alison is. I was there from the beginning. I was a part of the conversation of who she is and where she comes to from the very, very beginning,” the actress said. “And it just meant that as a performer, all I really needed to do was then come and breathe life into her and figure out how I wanted her to be. It was very freeing, actually, having so much of the work already done because we’d already discussed so much of it.”
In the film, while dealing with addiction and grief, Alison forms an unlikely friendship with the man who would have been her father-in-law, played by Morgan Freeman.
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Along with helping to develop her character, Pugh also wrote a number of songs, which she sings in the film.
“Zach corrected me yesterday that he had always intended for some song, some piano to be in that because that’s what was based on the character,” she said. “But for me, when I wrote one of the songs, ‘I Hate Myself’, I was already really trying to get in the headspace of her. I was trying to figure out at what low she must be in, like, how does she think of herself? Where does she want to be? What does she think about doing to herself?’
“It was kind of just like a stab of figuring out who this woman was and where we were going to go from there,” Pugh continued, explaining she played Braff the song to see if it lined up with the character, and he agreed it was. “So that’s the song that’s in the in the movie.
They also made the decision not to pre-record her singing the song, in order to keep the sound of it feeling real to the character and her emotional state.
“We kind of made the decision to keep it as raw and as honest as possible on a creaky piano in the rehab centre with a creaky voice,” Pugh said. “And just that’s probably how broken and low she is.”
“A Good Person” opens in theatres March 24.